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More consumers want limits set on the sodium added to food by food companies and restaurants

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More consumers want limits set on the sodium added to food by food companies and restaurants

More of you want limits set on the sodium added to food.  According to a new survey commissioned by the American Heart Association, the growing majority of people believe that the government should be involved in setting limits on the amount of sodium added to food by food companies and restaurants. With comments due next Monday, October 17 on the government’s draft voluntary sodium targets, this is good news! 

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And, that’s not all.

More of you are trying to keep their sodium in check. In this survey, 64 percent of people report ever trying to reduce the amount of sodium in their diet. This number is up from 58 percent who tried to reduce sodium in 2013. Eating less salt was among the top four eating habits that people worked to change this year. Do you want to join the growing majority that want to keep your sodium in check? See our page on how to reduce sodium.

You deserve more control over the salt added to your food.

With more people wanting to break up with salt, it comes as no surprise that the number of survey participants who want control over the amount of sodium in food is trending upward. In total, 60 percent of survey participants want more choice or control over the amount of sodium in their food. And, more people ‘strongly agree’ to more choice and control over the amount of salt/sodium in their food – this year, 27 percent of people strongly agreed, up from 23 percent in 2013.

How do people in this survey want more control? Well, about three-quarters (74 percent) of people in the survey prefer less sodium in processed foods, and preference to ‘significantly’ reduce the amount of sodium has gone up from 40% in 2013 to 44% in 2016. This makes sense, because about three-quarters of the sodium in the American diet comes from processed, prepackaged, and restaurant foods. In addition to wanting less sodium in processed foods, the majority of consumers believe that food companies and restaurants should set limits on the sodium added to foods. When asked what the food industry’s role should be in the amount of sodium added to foods, 79 percent of people in the survey think that the food industry should set limits.

Government involvement in sodium added by food companies and restaurants

Last June, the government released draft voluntary sodium targets for a variety of foods. And, this Monday, October 17, the government is asking for comments on their draft targets. According to this survey, the growing majority of people believe that the government should be involved in setting limits on the amount of sodium added to food by food companies and restaurants. When asked about the government’s role in setting limits on the amount of sodium added by food companies and restaurants, nearly a super-majority (62%, up from 56% in 2013) of consumers believe the government should be involved.

Do you agree? Make your voice heard. Tell food companies to support sodium reduction through voluntary sodium targets.

…a note on millennials.

More millennials who answered this survey (compared to other age groups) wanted more control over their food and more limits set on sodium added to foods by restaurants and food companies:

  • 63 percent of millennials report wanting more choice or control over the sodium in their food.
  • 82 percent of millennials are in favor of the industry setting limits on sodium added to foods by food companies and restaurants.
  • 75 percent of millennials think the government should be setting limits on sodium added to foods by food companies and restaurants.

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Surprised? Learn more about sodium, no matter what your age.

Tell us what you think! Do you believe there should be limits on the salt added to your food by food companies and restaurants?

About the survey
A consumer survey commissioned by the American Heart Association was conducted using the Ipsos i-Say panel of 1,686 adults, including an oversample of 328 African-Americans and 355 Hispanics between May 25 through June 10, 2016. This survey, previously conducted in 2012 and 2013, tracks the attitudes and behaviors of consumers about topics related to healthy eating and sodium consumption. The margin of error is +/- 3.09 percent. Find a the report here.